Thailand wakes up under Martial Law

The announcement was: This is not a coup... The public should not panic.

Thailand wakes up under Martial Law

The announcement was: This is not a coup… The public should not panic.

Thailand’s people, tourists and locals woke up on Tuesday and the country was different. In a surprise move the Kingdom was put under Martial law. The presence of soldiers on the streets of Bangkok was relatively sparse early Tuesday. Tourists and business people went after their usual routine, but the news spread like a wild fire.

Thai Army Commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha signed the “first announcement” to set up the Peace-Keeping Command Centre (PKCC) under the military, and dissolve the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo) set up under the Internal Security Act, effective immediately.

The news from Thailand’s Capital is developing nonstop. Thailand’s army chief on Tuesday ordered the censorship of the media in the interests of “national security” in a signed statement delivered on every television station.

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The army “prohibits all media outlets from reporting or distribution of any news or still photographs detrimental to national security,” said the statement by General Prayut Chan-O-Cha which was broadcast on every channel.

The head of Thailand’s army declared what he described as nationwide martial law early Tuesday and urged protesters who have paralyzed the government and blocked elections to “stop their movement.” The order also appeared to apply to pro-government demonstrators who are leading a separate protest.

Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan urged his members on Tuesday to cooperate with the army after the announcement of the martial law. Mr. Jatuporn, head of the red shirts’ umbrella organization the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) told Thai Rath TV that supporters rallying on Utthayan Road in western Bangkok should stay put, but not try to oppose troops sent into the rally area.

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